21 winning email marketing strategies for small businesses

3 minute read – Updated 20.3.19

To get the most from your email marketing be personal and avoid the ‘hard sell’

1. From name Use a name in your company email address, not sales@ or noreply@ statistically they are opened more often.

2. Subject line The most important part of your campaign and well worth spending the time on. 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone (Source: Convince & Convert). Write down ideas and discuss them with friends or colleagues. Personalise this too if you see an email with your name contained within it then it is more likely to grab attention. Add numbers, ask questions and add an emoji these all help open rates.

use emojis in emails

“Everyone loves emojis”

3. Call to Action Avoid words like submit, download and buy now. Instead, provide a reason to click. Instead of a text or a picture link use a button as these are clicked more (same goes for websites). You can personalise this too with most email providers. I use Mailchimp which is free for up to 2000 contacts but some features are chargeable. Use just one call to action and this should be what you want the reader to do before anything else.

Here is a personalised button

call to action email marketing

4. Introduction text Tell readers what to expect, keep it short, to the point and give reasons to read on.

This is an example from my last newsletter.

email marketing introductory text

5. Timing When are your readers most likely to open their email? When do you get the most enquiries or sales? Most email marketing providers will let you schedule your emails.

Schedule your campaigns with MailChimp.

schedule your email campaign

6. Ask questions Questions can make perfect subject lines as well as making the subscriber act.

7. Provide useful information How-to guides (especially videos), top ten tips and new uses for your product or service. I work with a yoga teacher and include her YouTube videos within the email. Click example email campaign to see an example. If you clicked the link you’ll see the personalisation where it says *|FNAME|* the receiver’s first name is added (more about that later).

8. Social Media Give reasons why people should follow you and share your email on your social channels.

An example of asking your reader to follow you. You’ll notice it is personalised too.

social media in email marketing

9. Testimonials One will do, change it each time you send a campaign.

10. Be personal Even if you are business to business email marketing write as if you were talking to a person. Add a photograph of yourself and your team. People respond more to emails written in this style (I know I’ve tested it with several clients).

11. Use the word you and your Some of the most powerful words in email marketing.

12. Sell the benefits No one wants to read lots of detail, they’d much rather know how it will solve their problem.

13. Add a P.S. Sign off with a P.S. it is your last chance to get your reader to act.

14. Use imagery It can be much more powerful than just words and gets your message across instantly. Videos are more effective than static images. Or you can use Gifs.

Here is an example of a Gif being used in the header (these may not show in Microsoft Outlook) but will on most mobile devices.

Email header with a Gif

15. Don’t forget your contact details! I’ve seen it before. Include a map too if you want customers to visit.

16. Ask for feedback This will help personalise your message as well as providing you with useful information.

17. Proof read and test all your links Ask someone who hasn’t written the newsletter to check it.

18. Offers Include an offer (with a deadline), run a competition or offer a free download.

19. Add Alt text and descriptions Some email browsers don’t support images so describe them by adding an Alt tag.

20. Avoid background images Outlook doesn’t recognise them.

21. Send again Most email providers will let you send the same email again. You can send to people who didn’t open and change the subject line.

Dan our email marketing man

I hope these tips help you improve your email marketing. If you have any questions give me a call on 01204 591015 or click to send me a message.

If you are interested in growing your business take a look at our business growth packages as email marketing is included.